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Rainfall in Floyd County likely short of record

January 1, 2019

Rainfall across Floyd County in 2018, particularly during the fourth quarter of the year, has been of near epic proportions.

Near is the operative word.

The modern record for rainfall in Rome is 68.56 inches, set in 1964 according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. Unofficially, through noon on Monday Rome had picked up 66.84 inches at the Richard B. Russell Airport NWS gauge, leaving the area 1.72 inches short of tying the record.

Heavy rains were forecast for Monday night.

“I certainly hope not,” said Floyd County Extension Agent Keith Mickler. “There are good records and then there bad records to be broken. Not enough rain or too much rain are two of them.”

The Rome area has received measurable rainfall on 17 of the 31 days in December.

Lauren Reaves, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said she did not anticipate Rome would get more than half an inch of rain before the calendar flipped to 2019 at midnight. That would leave Rome short of the second highest total as well, 67.97 inches recorded in 2009.

Armuchee farmer Johnny Lowrey said that rainfall prolonged the harvest for just about all of the area farmers.

“We just finished up two days after Christmas. We normally finish up somewhere around Thanksgiving,” Lowrey said.

The delayed harvest has caused some quality issues for soybeans and cotton, but that most of the corn was picked before it got too wet.

“There are still a lot of guys around that have some soybeans and some cotton in the fields,” Lowrey said. “The longer it stays the worse it is going to get. There is so much damage or rotting of soybeans. There are so many rotten ones in the sample that it

is hard to find a home for them, plus they cut you on the price.”

Nick McMichen, from Centre, Alabama who farms thousands of acres in western Floyd County said the weather has provided one of the biggest challenges of his farming career.

“Soybeans fared worse than anything due to the deterioration of the quality,” McMichen said. “There are still some soybeans in the field but frankly they’re at the point that we’re going to be fortunate if somebody will buy them.”

McMichen said there is still some cotton in the field which hasn’t fared quite as poorly as the soybeans but it has been very hard because every time he’s ready to get some out, it rains again.

“As bad as it is our friends in southwestern Georgia fared much worse. They had a crop and lost it all,” McMichen said, referring to losses as a result of Hurricane Michael.

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